I put the methoxide in before the pump, my pump doesn't have enough flow for the venturi to suck up methoxide more than about 2 feet. I only use my venturi right now to distill with.
You Need a fully flowed static mixer, any other type will create to much back pressure and the venturi will not work.
I just figured out how to make a venturi for inch and a half black iron pipe. Then I seen page 471 in the current online catalog of McMaster-Carr. They call them Motionless Mixing Tees, and come in sizes to fit pipe from 1/2" to 3". The description sounds just what we are trying to make.
Re vapor trail. Anyone mind telling me how the condenser is piped into an Appleseed processor? I want to build up the bottom as Fatkid has done so will have all plumbing oriented as in "right side up" design. And in line so far I figure oil in, methoxide in, pump, venturi, static mixer (1?) then back to tank. Can't visualize the static mixer after the venturi due to elevated position of venturi in order to bring in air and spray into top airspace of tank. But I do like the idea of mixer/sight glass. Thank you to anyone who can help this newbie. b.
Your venturi won't work well if you have the static mixer after it - too much back pressure and the venturi will be too far below the liquid level in the tank. Have the venturi at the highest point. If you MUST fit a static mixer, fit it after the pump, below the venturi. I suggest you run your processor without a static mixer initially. If your pump isn't big enough to mix the biodiesel well, it won't be big enough to run the venturi and static mixer.
I suggest you have ALL your piping after the pump in metal, to minimise the risk of failure when pumping hot biodiesel during the distillation process.
You can have a separate rising sight tube on the the inlet side of the pump, with just a simple valve at the bottom. This will ensure the site tube is running at low pressure (won't let loose).
The top of the site tube can be at atmospheric pressure, as it won't be able to blow out if you run the whole system at atmospheric pressure.
This is the system I use.
Hi Rocer c
I've got one of the McMaster mixing tees, and it seems to be specified for steam, rather than liquid.
It doesn't seem to work well with an 'average' pump of 60 litres per minute.
Maybe a pump with a lot of 'grunt' will help it to suck better.
My comment about static mixer was done without considering how it would effect everything else in the system. If it adversely effects the operation of the venturi then you are better off leaving it out.
If it weren't for the venturi the static mixer is an excellent drop in/one piece replacement for the iron pipe on the discharge of the pump and the sight tube.
A long overdue answer for used2ski from this posting - a big sorry, Kevin, I meant to answer sooner, then hummed and harred and scratched my head and still didn't come up with a good reply for you!
Anyway, thinking about it again, here's my take on it...
1. The clear liquid floating above the other liquid could have been one of two things...
Either you had methanol floating on biodiesel, or biodiesel floating water.
Without seeing the installation, I'm guessing here, but I'd expect it to be methanol on biodiesel. Like a 27/3 test, but much less methanol. Probably some of the vapour from your distillation condensed in the pipework.
2. Poor draining. I'm going to guess this MAY have had an effect. You may have had some reverse reaction, with the result that the biodiesel had more mono and di-glycerides present than you may have expected..
I've noticed that if I under-react my biodiesel, my soap is reluctant to drop out.
Well reacted biodiesel drops its soap very quickly after methanol removal.
Did you try a 27/3 test?
Here's a posting from another forum, from today, which sounds similar to your symptoms. See here.
A well drained tank would be my next suggestion - dump a load of pea-sized pebbles in there with the tank at an angle, until it reaches the lowest drain hole, which should be on the raised side of the tank.
Then pour in enough fibreglass resin to just cover the pebbles.
Do it in a few stages, so you don't get too much heat output from the setting resin - perhaps 5 separate pours, one each day, to allow sufficient cool-down. That should give you a nice secure, durable result.
Keep us posted, and sorry again for the delay - it's a tricky one to answer, and I may still be wrong!
No problem, Graham! I really appreciate the fact that you're so willing to help us all out.
I'm pretty sure that it was methanol on bio and not bio on water. I do think that the methanol probably condensed in the pipes and on the top and sides of the tank. Instead of waiting for the condensate from the condenser to be reduced to a drip every couple seconds, when I needed to leave I instructed the farm owner to shut things down at 100C, and thus really have no way of knowing what was going on when he did shut it down. I've been reading lately about reflux condensers, is this something that helps with more complete methanol evacuation, or does this just help with better Me/H2O separation? The venturi should help me with better Me evacuation?
Did not try a 27/3 test. Will do so next time.
No issues with the fibreglass resin reacting with the Bio?
Thanks for the offer. I am going to try the black pipe T configuration proposed above. I don't know why I got so wrapped around the axle that it had to be just like GL's. So I can't tell you how many times I google's 3/4" compresion T. If that doesn't work, offer still stand?
Yep the offer is for everyone and stands as long as venturi's are needed.
How much will you be charging for a venturi, Jim? bandakwe
Thank you, Graham, for your response. I have the resin ready for a bottom buildup and am proceeding just as you've suggested wrt the black pipe, venturi and sight tube. You are so nice to help so many of us. bandakwe
My build of your processer has actually started!!
I have the venturi (thanks Jim), old grundfoss pump and am in the process of building the condensor tower.
A couple things if you could clear up for me please, in the system diagram http://www.london-electronics.com/bd/ecosystem/state_diagram_new.htm
do you still do step 7 the 5% pre wash ?
Also could you include a pic of your carboy and how its connected to the piping.
Once I start assembling all my bits I'll post a bunch of pics.
Thanks to Graham and everyone else on this thread. I have been studying Bio for several months now and am getting ready to start building a reactor. I was going to build the Appleseed then found GL's1 day process. I've spent a week reading that thread and now this one.
Graham: Is the diagram on page 9 the same as on page 1? I just want to make sure that I am building the latest version when I get started. I have a 50gal water heater and plan on building the Apple Turnover if the top is domed to make draining of the glycerol easier. It probably would be better upside down even if it is flat? I was planning on using KOH but see that everyone is having trouble filtering out the soap, so I guess it will be NaOH instead. Any secrets to dissolving the NaOH in Methanol? (Safety equipment and agitate the Carboy I think I read somewhere?)
Yes, I still do the 5% prewash.
My processor is in bits again, so I can't take a piccie this weekend.
But the methoxide inlet and carboy arrangement is pretty standard for the appleseed format. I'll see if I can find someone else's photos for you.
Yes the two links are to the same diagram, which is up-to-date.
NaOH just takes a little more time to dissolve - but it's the same technique as you'd use for dissolving KOH.
I have a big ball-bearing in the carboy and a super-strong magnet outside it which I use to drag the ball-bearing around and thru the NaOH - doesn't take too long to dissolve.
You can keep the carboy still that way, but don't seal the lid during dissolving, because the heat given off by the NaOH dissolving would otherwise pressurise your carboy to a point which could be dangerous.
Hope that helps,
I think I may have figured out at least part of the problem. I've been using 3.5 grams of NaOH as my base number and then adding my titration amount. Re-reading the fourms, I discovered that 5 g/L is the more preferred base amount. I imagine that I likely did not achieve full conversion on that first processing. I re-reprocessed that batch with 10% Me and 3.5 g/L NaOH (before latest discovery), and things look much better. Fuel in settling tank is relatively clear. Further, I am pretty sure that I did not remove all the glyc before moving on to methanol recovery the first time around. A sample taken after the first processing is reddish brown in color (remember Killian's Irish Red), the fuel after re-processing is more of an amber yellow color. 3/27 test seems to pass -- nothing precipitates to bottom -- seemed a little cloudy , but still able to see through glass bottle. I had seen a really good article or post on the 3/27 test complete with pics and descriptions but cannot locate again. Anyone know the article I'm referring to?
I have a question regarding an "alternative" to the venturi (for sucking air, not methoxide):
Has anyone tried (or thought of trying) sucking air in the suction side of the pump (e.g. via the methoxide intake port) in lieu of the venturi?
I am thinking the vapor output of the condensor could be plumbed to the suction side of the pump (with a valve) instead of the venturi and crack the valve open just a smidge such that only a little air (not enough to cause the pump to have problems/cavitate)wa sucked in. Thoughts/experiences?
On further investigation the water heater tank has three holes in the top, ideal for the diagram. (also it's flat not domed). I guess I'll be adding pea gravel and fiberglass to my Appleseed when I build.
Graham: I like the idea of a sight tube, so it'll be added on the suction side of the pump per your suggestion. I guess clear tubing is sufficient? Any types to use or avoid?
If I don't want to elevate the reactor is it possible to pump the glycerol to a tank? Any problems with the pump/impellor? I have one of the blue HF clear water pumps. Also I think I remember reading somewhere about recovering methanol from the glycerol after it was drained? If so, did you pump it back into the reactor and recover methanol similar to recovery from the bio? Or does the glycerol harden when it cools? Could it be transfered to a smaller GL processor with pump, condensor set up, etc and and methanol extraction done? I'm assuming that there is sufficient Methanol available to make it worth while? I'm assuming that if the glycerol hardens either before or after the methanol recovery that it should be drained/pumped into something disposable, as in not valuable? Sorry if these questions are basic, but as I stated I've been lurking for months now and have several hundred hours of reading, just can't remember everything.
Excellent idea! Yes, if you have apump which can handle air-bleed - you won't need a venturi.
Unfortunately, my pump can't clear ingested air, so I can't use that, but I'm sure others have more forgiving pumps.
I use normal braided clear pvc hose for the sight tube.
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